3rd UPDATE, FRIDAY, 8:54 PM: As it stands now, Friday is shaping up to be huge at the box office for The Fault in Our Stars as the little picture that could from Fox 2000 looks like it may take home $25M tonight (includes that $8.2M late night and $25 tickets on the simulcast). Early estimates show that the picture’s three-day cume is on the high-end of $40M right now and could easily push past $50M. And that’s with an estimated 35% drop on Saturday. More later when more numbers come in, but right now, audiences are loving this movie to the moon and back.
Edge of Tomorrow — the Tom Cruise sci-fi actioner — may come in at No. 3 for a $30M weekend behind Maleficent, which currently is tracking at around $32M. But the night is young. More to come late tonight.
2nd UPDATE, Friday, 11:49 AM: Matinee numbers on the East Coast for The Fault In Our Stars are coming in right now. This little picture about love blossoming amidst sickness (notice, I didn’t say cancer … oh, darn I just said it) is not slowing down at all, and it could pull in about $20M to $23M tonight — including that $8.2M from the Thursday night show and that higher-priced simulcast — which means $40M+ and some think it’s entirely possible on 3,173 runs to hit in the high $40M’s. $44M? Saturday will take an expected hit but how much is yet to be determined.
As of 10:30 PM last night, tickets were still selling strong and showed no signs of flagging, according to Fandango, which said the movie accounts for more than 70% of all its weekend sales. It’s kicking it in Australia, too, where it opened last night, too, with about $1.4M.
Meanwhile, Edge of Tomorrow – the Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt starring sci-fi actioner (which I keep hearing is good) — on 3,490 runs could grab around $10M going into this weekend (including the Thursday night late gross of $1.8M) for a three-day around maybe $28M? The demo for this movie may end up in front of the small screen this weekend as it’s Stanley Cup, Game 2 on Saturday night and NBA finals, Game 2 on Sunday. Edge of Tomorrow bowed at 8 p.m. on about 2,800 screens last night. These are just estimates, but clearly The Fault in Our Stars is headed to the No. 1 spot. Disney’s Maleficent in its second weekend may best Edge of Tomorrow, but too early to tell at the moment. Let’s see what tonight brings …
PREVIOUSLY, Friday, 9:17 AM: Late night numbers are rolling in … Warner Bros.’ Edge Of Tomorrow, starring Tom Cruise, bowed with only $1.8M in 3D/IMAX late nights while Fox 2000’s The Fault In Our Stars generated a stunning $8.2M late night gross which includes the $25-per-pop ticket simulcast in 650 theaters and late nights beginning at 9 PM IMAX who? Just simulcast with a Q&A with filmmakers and stars.
The question now for this film is … is this superfan front-loaded and how much will the drop be on Saturday, but this is on its way to a stunning weekend gross. BTW, X-Men: Days Of Future Past had a late night take of $8.1M … not saying by any means this will do their numbers as these are very different films, but what a fantastic start for Fox this weekend and, although the studio is keeping their estimates conservative, I wouldn’t be surprised if this pushed into the $40M+ arena.
Talk about a perfect marketing campaign and tremendous organic social media presence thanks, in great part, to The Fault In Our Stars’ best-selling author John Green who (with his brother Hank) already had 2.1M YouTube subscribers via their 7 year-old site Vlogbrothers. In addition, Green has 2.4M engaged Twitter followers. And, need I say it? Another star is born from the Internet — to publishing — and lands success on the big screen. Well done, Mr. Green.
Related: Fans Find No ‘Fault’ In Social Media
The love story between kids afflicted with cancer also had a well-cut, upbeat trailer which hasn’t changed since it first bowed. And why change a good thing? If you look at the lead-up in social media all the way through last night, one can see the disparity among pics and for this type of demo, it hit the target right in the center of the social media universe. Congrats to Ms. Gabler for moving ahead on a risky film and keeping the budget small (studios says around $12M) to reduce that risk.
The activity in the last week alone was 13.2 million users across YouTube, FB and Twitter up against Edge of Tomorrow at 5.4 million and holdover Maleficent at 4.1 million. “It soared to number three against super franchises X-Men and Godzilla over the last 30-days in cume activity,” said Marc Karzen, CEO of RelishMix which tracks social engagement across the Big Three (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube). “The Fox marketing team have been pushing hard across the big 3 platforms in advance of the Thursday live simulcast, too.” Superfan and syndicated YouTube channels are posting trailers and response videos an what RelishMix calls “an explosively high earned/owned ratio of 19 to 1.”
Stars Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort are both fully engaged as well as 100-plus fan pages across Twitter and FB while Ed Sheeran’s 9.5 million Twitter and 6.2 Facebook and his music video are popping, too. Stay tuned for a big box office weekend.